Who am I?

I’d be dishonest if I said that I didn’t write and trash just about a hundred iterations of this “about me” page. For as much as the tell-all words like to slip out of my fingertips, I find that when writing about myself it comes out resembling verbal diarrhea on paper. Here I am though on attempt one-hundred-and-on giving it my best shot to not come across as a pretentious-cliché of some prolific writer getting off by stroking his own ego. I do have one thing going for me, however, I don’t have any merits to my name so the most that I could get would be self-righteous asshole. If it was up to me I’d pick the later over being so full of myself that I thought that my words could cure diseases and feed the hungry.

In my best attempt to fill out this page my name is Zen Zielke. I was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1999 to two loving parents from opposite sides of the world. Coming from a decent neighborhood with parents who weren’t divorced gave me the challenge of not being able to draw from any deep-rooted childhood angst. I wasn’t blessed with a silver spoon in my mouth, nor did I come from a background of struggle. I faced down the horrid beast of a thousand eyes that was mediocrity in average America. So I walked the line with my tail between my legs and excelled in the mediocrity that I had so been destined for. Decent grades in high granted me the ability to pass with the least modicum of effort. My aspirations for mediocrity followed through into college where, after running through half-a-dozen majors, I ended up studied advertising. In all honesty my driving light through my stint within the pearly gates of higher education was the idea of pushing back living in the “real world” for four more years. I had yet to figure out that no matter how long I took, I wasn’t cut out to shift papers for eight hours a day in a concrete-midtown building.

Truthfully I learned more about what I didn’t want to do through college, instead of what I wanted. Nearing the end of my academic career I realized in my spots of sobriety that while everyone else either knew what they were going to do after graduation (or were just better at bullshitting that they did), I still was as lost as the day I arrived. I had wrote most days if I was able-bodied and able-minded, and so I thought that I had finally found my so-called “calling.” Everyone wants to find their purpose in life that gives them meaning to get up every single day and march head first into the rat races. My mom thought I was good at writing for what it’s worth.

I graduated from a state school in Fullerton, CA in 2020. Surrounded by a roaring crowd of bright-eyed twenty-something year olds with the entire world before them, and the shiny piece of paper in their hands that could make it happen, I went home. I thought to myself that I had already committed the cardinal sin of working as a writer or in any creative industry by getting a degree. Still, if there’s anything in this world that I’d be doing, I sure as hell wouldn’t want it to be anything else.


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